LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — In an emotional Instagram post, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James broke his silence Monday night for the first time since the death of Kobe Bryant.

Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and 7 others were killed in a helicopter crash Sunday morning, but both James and the Lakers stayed silent about the shocking news until Monday night.

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“Man I sitting here trying to write something for this post but every time I try I begin crying again just thinking about you, niece Gigi and the friendship/bond/brotherhood we had!” James wrote alongside a picture of the two greeting each other on the sidelines of a recent Laker game.

Like Bryant, James made the jump to the NBA from high school. They were both fierce competitors, but also managed to win two Olympic gold medals together on Team USA.

James had just surpassed Bryant on the all-time scoring list Saturday night, and got a congratulatory call from him that night.

“Didn’t think for one bit in a million years that would be the last conversation we’d have,” James wrote. “I’m heartbroken and devastated my brother!!”